PACE, Fla. (WKRG) — As the 20th anniversary of 9/11 nears, a Northwest Florida church is paying its respects to the victims of that tragic day.
Volunteers at Pace Assembly Ministries in Pace have spent hours planting crosses in the church’s lawn for each one of the almost 3,000 people who died on 9/11.
Volunteers told WKRG News 5 Wednesday the hard work is worth it to show respect to those who died nearly 20 years ago.
“These crosses right here will symbolize that we care about our country, we care about our military and everyone who lost their lives on 9/11,” said Taylor Rogers, the church’s youth pastor.
The church’s head pastor Joey Rogers says volunteers are taking their time putting up the crosses.
“Each one of them represents a life,” he said. “We’re taking great care to make sure that they’re planted correctly and it represents it well.”
The church’s display, located right off Highway 90 in Pace, has already caught the attention of those passing by.
“It is a very emotional thing. We’ve had people stopping by all day long — some that have had tears,” Joey Rogers said. “The general public is recognizing when you see as many crosses in the landscape of this, it really brings it home and you get a real understanding of the massive loss of life.”
The church is also displaying the names of those lost that day on a video board and plans to put up 13 flags to honor the soldiers lost in the Kabul airport attack almost two weeks ago.
“I think that’s going to be very moving for people as they’re coming by,” the church’s pastor said.
Rogers said it’s important to never forget a tragedy like 9/11. He hopes his church’s memorial serves as a reminder.
“If people want to stop by and take a moment of reflection, I think that would be very important, especially bringing your children and letting them understand what’s going on,” he said.
The church plans to display the memorial until at least next Wednesday.